Colorado Housing Connects takes home Eagle Award
Housing nonprofit Brothers Redevelopment is proud to announce that its housing helpline, Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632), has been awarded the Eagle Award from Housing Colorado — a non-partisan membership association dedicated to serving organizations and professionals in the affordable housing industry in Colorado.
The Eagle Award represent one of the highest achievements within the Colorado housing community and celebrates extraordinary accomplishments and outstanding leadership in housing and support services. Award winners are chosen based on a variety of factors including target population, housing stability, challenges a program addresses, services provided to residents of affordable housing, innovative approaches, how a program engages stakeholders, and how a program’s mission and work addresses issues related to diversity, equity and/or inclusion.
Colorado Housing Connects is the sole statewide housing helpline service that is operated in partnership with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The helpline assists Coloradans navigate through non-emergency housing services and resources. Colorado Housing Connects provides information about a variety of housing services and topics of interest to renters, homeowners, landlords, first-time homebuyers, older adults, people with disabilities, and anyone with fair housing concerns.
In 2021, Colorado Housing Connects received 35,246 inquiries from 59 of Colorado’s 64 counties.
“When COVID hit, our Colorado Housing Connects helpline felt the impact immediately. Our phones started ringing with renters and homeowners cast into economic hardship overnight as their employment situation, family demands and wellbeing shifted dramatically,” said Colorado Housing Connects Program Director Patrick Noonan. “Since then, our team has worked tirelessly to step up for Coloradans with their back against the wall. They’ve helped our clients navigate incredible crises and done so with patience, compassion and resolve.”
Colorado Housing Connects’ “housing navigators” work to prevent evictions by connecting renters to resources that are local to them like financial assistance, legal assistance for Coloradans facing eviction, tenant-landlord mediation services, and more. Throughout the pandemic, Colorado Housing Connects has hosted eviction prevention webinars in partnership with Colorado Legal Services — a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income Coloradans. The webinars cover information about the eviction process in Colorado, practices for avoiding eviction and resources that help with eviction.
Colorado Housing Connects also offers foreclosure prevention services by connecting homeowners to government certified housing counselors that help Coloradans access legal referrals, financial assistance, housing counseling services, and other resources.
As a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, Colorado Housing Connects offers homebuyer and post-purchasing counseling, free workshops like its homebuyer education courses, education on renter rights and responsibilities, and more. Last year, Colorado Housing Connects provided housing counseling services to 2,065 Coloradans.
In 2020, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs selected Colorado Housing Connects as its partner to lead and launch the Housing Counseling Assistance Program.
The program is funded by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and involves Colorado Housing Connects collaborating with more than 12 housing counseling and legal service agencies across Colorado to offer comprehensive housing counseling, navigation and eviction/foreclosure prevention services and other resources that help Coloradans remain housed. In May, Colorado’s Housing Board approved additional funding in Housing Development Grant funds to continue to fund the Housing Counseling Assistance Program through the end of 2022.
Colorado Housing Connects works to reach underserved communities facing housing instability through its intentional marketing, outreach and service delivery model. Bilingual staff and interpretation services help ensure Coloradans have access to navigation, counseling and workshops — regardless of English language proficiency.
“The Eagle Award is a great honor and a testament to the hard work of our housing navigators and counselors. We also owe many thanks to all of our partners who’ve supported this effort along the way,” said Noonan.